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Greene's Mountain Heritage: An Open House at Cecil Mission

April 22, 2017 10:00 am - 04:00 pm
Location: Cecil Mission, Stanardsville, Virginia

The Cecil Mission near Stanardsville.

Join The Piedmont Environmental Council on Saturday, April 22nd for a trip back in time to learn about the mountain culture of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. On the land of the Cecil Mission in Greene County, which was organized around 1910, this event will include tours of the mission’s chapel building, family photo displays, memorabilia, oral histories, and a historical overview of the area.

Members of the Taylor, Lamb, Samuels, Conley, Herring, Meadows, Collier, Roach, Shifflett and many other families will be present to discuss their memories of the mountain life in Greene County. Archival materials, including early film footage of the area and historic maps, will also be on display.

More Event Details:

Want to visit home sites of some of your descendants or just interested in looking at the remains of homesteads in the Park? The Cecil Mission is not far from some of the area's best hiking trails, many of which pass by historic features that are partially hidden in the forest. With a little closer look, you can often see old home sites, rock walls, garden terraces, and cemeteries – particularly before the plants begin to bloom. PEC is in the process of securing shuttles to the nearby Saddleback Mountain trailhead, which will include a driving tour of the Lydia community. Please see the information below. Space is limited.

Enjoy light refreshments and conversation at the Mission throughout the day and live music from local musicians. 

The event is free, but pre-registration is required. Driving directions to the event parking area will be emailed prior to the event. Elderly or disabled visitors can be dropped off at the church. Check in with parking staff upon arrival.

We’re looking for more people to share displays of their Greene mountain heritage at the event. If interested, please contact Kristie Kendall at 540-347-2334, ext. 7061 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



We will be running a continuous shuttle from the Cecil Mission Chapel to the Saddleback Mountain Trailhead, from 10:00 until 4:00pm, with a detour through the historic village of Lydia. There is a limited capacity in the shuttle and we will take sign ups on a first-come, first-serve basis. Trail guides will be handed out to each person with historic photos and information about the history of the mountain communities that once flourished on and around Saddleback Mountain. Featured hikes include the Saddleback Mountain Loop and South River Falls Hikes, but can be altered to your liking.

Option #1: Saddleback Mountain Trail
Moderate, 3.3 miles. Est. Time: 2 hours. Family cemeteries, home sites, mountain views. (optional A.T. extension out to Skyline Drive adds 3 miles out and back)

Option #2: South River Falls Loop
Difficult, 3.7 miles, 1,600 ft elevation gain. Est. time: 4 hours. See home site, waterfall.

If you are interested in signing up for the shuttle, please email Kristie Kendall at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and choose one of the following time slots to be picked up from the church: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm (tours of Lydia only)

Shuttles will leave the trailhead to return back to Cecil Mission at 10:50am, 11:50am, 12:50pm, 1:50pm, 2:50pm, 3:20pm

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